This is Rick Kasselj from Exercises For Injury. In this interview, we will talk about the ten commandments of ruthless mobility with Dean Somerset. Dean Somerset is a Trainer from Edmonton, Alberta. He works with people with injuries or medical conditions in general fitness or elite athletes that won gold medals in the Olympics.
Dean works with a variety of clientele. But the majority of people that he works with are just trying to move better. Either get stronger or have better control over a range of motion in any situation. He will talk about how to get people “Ruthless Mobile” with minimal impact. On how they can feel the terms of pain or dysfunction but want to be able to unleash their full potential in the gym.
Today I have a great interview for you.
It is with Dean Somerset of Ruthless Mobility.
Dean goes through the 10 Commandments to Ruthless Mobility.
CLICK HERE to check out the interview.
In the interview, Dean highlights the ten things. That needs to happen in a mobility exercise or mobility program to get the results that people are looking for.
If any of these things is missing, then the mobility exercise or mobility program will be ineffective. To watch the interview, click here.
10 Commandments For Ruthless Mobility
In terms of structure, there are different ways that joints and bones can align. The structure will determine your range of motion. As you may have heard, some people can execute squatting efficiently, even without experience or training. At the same time, some have been training on mobility for years but do not improve on executing squats at all.
One of the reasons for this is connected with their structure. Some have a different pelvic structure which gives them an easier manipulation of movement and execution of squats compared to others. So maybe, positional and structure-wise, some may benefit from moving in certain ways. This will be the biggest determinant of any motion.
2. Begin At The Foot
Keeping your foot flat and steady will prevent any chain ripples if you are doing anything from standing. If your stance is unstable, it may cause your foot to fall on the arch or pronate too much, leading to other problems like tibial torsion. This can cause chain ripples with the alignment of the knee up to your hips, your shoulders, and your neck. For a person’s movements to be efficient, they need a balance between muscles and good form.
3. Fascial Work Is Not Stretching
You are not stretching your muscles when doing anything with a foam roller. You are working on the neural receptive ability of that tissue to be able to produce either excitatory contraction or relaxation. To stretch, you must increase the distance between the origin and insertion.
The foam roller does not push into the tissue enough to create a length change. It is working more on the neural system to change the muscle’s tone, which causes the contraction that could restrict mobility. When you’re doing any fascial work, unless the recipient I s moving through a range of motion where they increase their distance from origin to insertion, it’s not stretching. It’s working on tissue quality and neural tone.
4. Breathing Is A Keystone To Mobility
You are almost hyperventilating if you are always breathing on what’s known as apical breathing. The apical breathing technique is a form of controlled panting that’s used to slow the rate of breathing. It can be useful for strengthening your lungs and maximizing air exchange to increase endurance during exercise.
When you breathe out, your diaphragm relaxes and falls to the ground. You are using your Scalene and Rhomboids when breathing through your upper neck. And you will not get a similar stimulation where you can see your relaxed state due to deep breathing.
Decreasing your muscle tone and creating a wider range of motion. Suppose you have a wider range of motion. When this happens, being relaxed stimulates vagal nerve activity, which produces calmness throughout our bodies and then results in a parasympathetic nervous system state. In line with this, your body tends to be more relaxed. You have better control of your mobility and will prevent early exhaustion when you get in the middle of a set of basic stretching exercises.
5. Limited Mobility
One example of limited mobility is whenever you try a deadlift. Suppose you do not have enough hip mobility to grab the bar. You tend to round your lumbar spine to execute the movement. You may get tight hips because you are trying to execute the movement while providing stability to your spine simultaneously.
6. Use The Nervous System To Get the Best Results
PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) Stretching is when you stretch a muscle into a range of motion; you provide a contraction against it. You release and create a bigger range of motion. Which is a simulation of a neural receptor to be able to create a new range of motion.
PNF stretching aims to contract the muscle and then release it. This creates a bigger range of motion in which your brain can learn how to “think” about moving more muscles through space better than before.
So when you’re doing your next workout or practice session, there will be less risk for injury because those neural receptors are getting used and strangulated with regular use. With proper breathing, we are simulating the parasympathetic nervous system to relax our muscles, thus creating a wider range of motion.
The use of the PNF method requires the contract-relax technique. One example is when you try to stretch your hip flexor in a hip extension position; you try to contract the hip. Thus you briefly produce the PNF technique by contracting and relaxing your glutes.
7. Muscles Are Incredibly Dumb
Muscles do what the nervous system tells them to do. You cannot confuse a muscle because they technically don’t know what they are doing. Muscles will contract or relax if the brain sends signals to the muscle through the nervous system.
You cannot stretch a muscle trying to guard a joint. One example would be runners who experience tight hip flexors but also have Anterior Pelvic Tilt and Lumbar Lordosis. The hip flexors are tight because it is trying to keep the spine from shifting. It keeps the spine neutral by staying in a stabilized position until a person is back in the neutral alignment of their spine.
8. Muscle Length
It is not how much length of muscle you have that will determine your mobility, but a lot of factors are to be considered why some have a longer range of motion than others.
One factor would be pain. Muscle tends to guard a joint or movement if there is pain. It is when our body is in a state of coping mechanism. If your body thinks that a certain movement will cause further damage, the brain will send signals to the muscle and contract, showing signs of muscle guarding.
Another example would be muscle weakness. Range of motion will also be determined by muscle strength. If a muscle is too weak to perform a movement or execute a range of motion, It will have a limited range of motion as it cannot move a muscle due to weakness.
Several factors can increase the range of motion regardless of pain and weakness. Pain signals from the brain to the muscles are blocked, indicating that increasing the range of motion will not damage the body. That is when a person with pain undergoes anesthesia.
9. The Body Will Always Adapt
Just like evolution, our body always adapts to what state it is in. When you go to the gym for the first couple of weeks and start a workout program, you will notice that your body tends to adapt to the exercise program you are working on and will eventually improve and consistently progress.
Another example would be if you are sitting all day long for about 10 to 12 hours, your body will adapt by shortening your muscles in some areas. More often than not, your muscles will stiffen to compensate for the posture, degeneration of joints, and Lumbar disc alignment will change.
10. Poor Alignment Stays With You
One example would be a person who has tight hip flexors. Even if he goes to the gym and performs deadlifts, his poor alignment stays with him until he does something to address this problem, such as doing a pre-activation core workout and breathing workout to relax that tight muscle.
Rick Kaselj, MS
P.S. – The release of Ruthless Mobility 2.0 continues. Dean and I have updated it and added a few awesome components, like physical DVDs.
Rick Kaselj, MS